Low mammography rate among young cancer survivors – cause for concern

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a lot of women who survived cancer at a young age do not going in for breast-cancer screening as regularly as is required.

The chest radiation that women receive for treating cancer, in childhood or youth, puts them at a greater risk of breast cancer. As such, researchers opine that despite years having gone by after the chest radiation, annual mammography, timely breast-cancer screenings, and breast MRI, are an absolute "must."

On an average, between 12-20 percent of women having undergone moderate or high dose of chest radiation are susceptible to breast cancer by the age of 45. Hence, experts are of the opinion that these 'high risk' women should have annual mammograms from the age of 25 years, or eight years subsequent to the chest radiation therapy 

- whichever of the two comes last.

The researchers questioned 550 'high-risk' US and Canadian women about how regularly they went in for screening, and were appalled to find that just 55 percent of them had undergone a mammogram in the past two years; and, the rate for women below 40 years was even less than half.

The low mammography rate has become a cause for concern for the experts, who were expecting it to be "lower than it should be - but not as low as it turned out to be!" (Harkiran contributed to this report)